NEW YORK — Brookfield Place has secured its second luxury tenant — Burberry, according to real estate sources.
This story first appeared in the February 19, 2013 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Formerly known as the World Financial Center, Brookfield Place is in the midst of a $250 million renovation, with its eye focused on luxury brands to fill the 200,000 square feet of retail space.
Earlier this month, Edward Hogan, national director of retail leasing for Brookfield Place, confirmed that Michael Kors had signed a 1,700-square-foot lease at the property. He declined to comment about Burberry. Jan Heppe, president of Burberry U.S., could not be reached for comment.
Burberry plans to open a downtown store for men and women with 5,000 square feet of space at Brookfield Place, sources said. The flagship is expected to open on Sept. 14 when the entire Brookfield Place renovation is unveiled.
Brookfield Place will have a Fifth Avenue-like streetscape facing the 9/11 Memorial that will be several blocks long. Burberry is said to be leasing a flagship location in the Winter Garden, “one of the most prominent spots in the center,” according to a real estate source. “It’s a highly visible location.” Kors will be located in the Courtyard section of the project.
The Westfield Group in May signed a deal with the Port Authority to develop, lease and operate 365,000 square feet of retail space at 4 World Trade Center and 3 World Trade Center, which is also under construction. Shopping is spread across three levels aboveground and two below. “Retailers are realizing that between Brookfield Place and the World Trade Center, there aren’t that many spaces” for luxury brands, said the real estate source. “A luxury retailer will not open a store two levels below grade. The premium locations are limited.”
Burberry operates six locations in Manhattan, including a flagship at 9 East 57th Street, Brit and London stores at 444 Madison Avenue, Brit units at 365 Bleecker Street and 160 Columbus Avenue and a unit at 131 Spring Street.
“Pre-9/11, it was all financial services” occupying the buildings, but several large financial institutions left Lower Manhattan, said Edward Hogan, national director of retail leasing for Brookfield, when the Kors lease was revealed. “Condé Nast is making the decision to come downtown [to the World Trade Center] and has been bringing more creative firms, including media and high-tech companies.” Lower Manhattan’s demographics have changed favorably since 9/11. “Before 9/11, there were 30,000 residents living south of Chambers Street,” Hogan said. “That’s doubled to 60,000 residents. The average household income at Battery Park City is $140,000.”